Lights are out these days oftener than in .. I am not going to complain.
I was in the shower when it went out .. I fast forwarded the rest of the shower, no shampooing, no scrubbing for a fairer sheen to my face – I was it in a minute. I quickly changed and walked into the kitchen where the rest of my family was already gathered for what has now become a daily ritual of bonding. We sit down in the warm glow of a candle – only one burns because apparently candle prices have gone through the roof as well! – with cups of tea and the conversation flows. In the last few days I have started listening to my mother again, my father too and my younger siblings.
Now when my mother speaks with her usual affection and asks me how my day was and what I got upto, I cannot help but think: How could I have lived years without listening – no really listening – to her sweet voice. The last few years have been busy, with me working like a dog and then unwinding in coffee shops around Lahore with ‘friends’.
I ask my father: Abbu when you were young, you guys used to go without light often?
His face lights up and his eyes glaze over as he revisits his youth and shares interesting stories with his son.
I know most of us go out with the light. We are sooo plugged into our televisions, computers, and iPods that we do not know what to do when they are not there. But for me light out means time with my family; I know things will get better and we will get out of this rut and light will not go as often, but I do not look forward to that because I fear our ritual will die and again we will get involved in the rat race. Will things be better then??